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How Much to Feed a Dog | Dog Food Proportions

The amount of food to feed your dog will depend on some things:

1. Age

Puppies will require to be fed more times during the day at given intervals. As the puppies mature their requirements also change and may require a change in diet.

Puppies will require food to promote their growth and development. After puppies are weaned, they will need to be fed 3-4 times a day, when they are older this could be reduced to 2times a day then to once a day when they mature.

Mature dogs will do just fine with one meal a day.

2. Breed

This is mostly because of the difference in size. A Labrador retriever is a fairly big dog and to give him the same amount of food as a Japanese spitz would be an insult to his appetite. Big breeds of dogs need more food while small breeds only require a small amount of food.

3. Level of activity

Dogs that are very active will use up a lot of energy and thus need more food to be able to recover this. A dog that is competing in a dog race such as a grey hound will use up to 100 times more energy running compared to when the dog is resting. This also goes for dogs used in hunting and dogs that are subjected to vigorous exercise in training.

House dogs or sickly dogs will generally have less energy requirements.

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4. Type of food

Commercial food will come in three types

- Canned food

- Dry food

- Semi-moist food

Most dog owners prefer dry food since it is easier to serve and store, canned food is also good but it gets spoilt easily and there is a high risk of bacterial contamination if stored wrongly.

Dry food has very little moisture and thus for every cup of food you put, you get more nutrients and calories. Canned food contains more moisture, so to get the same amounts of nutrients as in dry food you have to use a bit more. The same goes for semi-moist foods.

5. Body condition

Dogs in poor body condition will have a higher demand for nutrients and need more energy to get back in shape. Obese dogs on the other hand need to lose some weight to be at their recommended weight, these dogs therefore have to be fed a bit less food with fewer calories.

Most food companies will usually include a feeding guideline on the packet detailing the various classes of weights and the amount to feed the dog. These guidelines should only be taken as a rough estimate, remember that there is a commercial aspect to the food and that the companies want you to go back and buy more food. If you are not sure what amount is good to ask your vet to give you some guidelines on what to feed your dog?

A lactating dog with a big litter will need more food, this food should be spread out in two or three meals a day rather than once in order to meet the energy requirements.

Remember that your dog will require a free supply of fresh, clean water.

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